Ukraine: Holodomor, Gulag, Crimes of Communism, Genocide
DATE:  Monday, April 27, 2009, Washington, D.C.
FOUR ARTICLES ------------
New book commissioned by Harvard University Research Institute (HURI)
by Peter T. Woloschuk, The Ukrainian Weekly, No. 13
Ukrainian National Association, Parsippany, NJ, Sunday, March 29, 2009
HURI NEWS, Harvard University Ukrainian Research Institute (HURI),
Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, Spring 2009 
HURI NEWS, Harvard University Ukrainian Research Institute (HURI),
Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, Spring 2009 
Harriman Institute at Columbia University, New York, in cooperation with CIUS
Papers from "The Holodomor of 1932-1933" Conference in Toronto, Nov, 2007
Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies (CIUS), Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Feb 4, 2009
New book commissioned by Harvard University Research Institute (HURI)

by Peter T. Woloschuk, The Ukrainian Weekly, No. 13
Ukrainian National Association, Parsippany, NJ, Sunday, March 29, 2009

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Harvard University’s Ukrainian Research Institute (HURI) announced that it has entered into an agreement with noted author, columnist and historian Anne Applebaum, commissioning her to research and write a new book on the Holodomor.

The book will take into account the most recent evidence that has become available since the collapse of the Soviet Union and will address current scholarly debates on the questions of genocide, intentionality and population loss. In preparation for this work, Ms. Applebaum attended HURI’s two-day International Conference on the Holodomor in November 2008 and had discussions with many of the experts and scholars assembled there.

Ms. Applebaum is currently completing her research for a new book on the Stalinization of post-war Central Europe and afterwards will begin work on the Holodomor book. She will officially join HURI as a research associate early this summer; it is envisioned that she will spend several years on the book project.

As part of her commitment, Ms. Applebaum has agreed to lecture periodically for HURI on her archival research and her findings, and to discuss the progress of her work. She will also make appearances in Kyiv.
Ms. Applebaum, who has indicated a particular interest in reviewing the volumes of eyewitness accounts that have been assembled throughout Ukraine, will be assisted in her archival research in Ukraine by Tetiana Boriak, a scholar who received her candidate of sciences degree in history with additional specialization in archival and source studies from Taras Shevchenko Kyiv National University.

Ms. Boriak has previously assisted on other HURI-related projects: the translation from English into Ukrainian of the institute’s publication “Trophies of War and Empire: The Archival Heritage of Ukraine: World War II and the International Politics of Restitution” by Patricia Kennedy Grimstead (2001). Currently Ms. Boriak holds the position of senior teacher at the Department for Documental Communication of the State Academy of Executives in Cultures and Arts.

Commenting on her commitment to the new Holodomor book project, Ms. Applebaum said, “The Harvard Ukrainian Institute has thought a good deal about this issue,” adding that HURI wishes “to approach (the Holodomor) in an objective and professional way. All of us understand the high emotions around the subject of the Famine, and we want its history to be told … as well as possible.”

This new book on the Holodomor is part of HURI’s larger ongoing Holodomor Research Project, which is overseen by a committee of Harvard scholars coordinated by Serhii Plokhii, Mykhailo Hrushevsky Professor of Ukrainian History.
As he discussed the book and the Holodomor Research Project, Prof. Plokhii said, “We certainly need a new and thorough work on the history of the Great Famine in Ukraine. Since the publication of ‘The Harvest of Sorrow’ in 1986, the formerly secret Soviet Archives have been opened, new publications have appeared, new questions have been asked, and HURI believes that its task now is to support a new interpretive research on the history of Applebaum to write book on Holodomor New book commissioned by HURI the Holodomor that will take into account all these new developments in the field.”

“We are very excited that Anne Applebaum has agreed to take this task upon herself, and we expect that her book will not only open new vistas in research on the Holodomor, but will also make new findings available to the broadest audience possible,” he noted.

HURI will also work with the Ukrainian Studies Fund (USF) in producing a series of booklets dealing with various aspects of the Holodomor as outreach for the North American public.

The USF has been a co-sponsor of the Holodomor Research Project and has generously agreed to help underwrite much of the work. Dr. Roman Procyk said of the project: “This work makes a lot of sense, especially today, when the post-colonial society in Ukraine is rethinking its past. This undertaking is truly important and is an essential dimension of the overall effort to commemorate the Holodomor in the diaspora. It will have an immeasurable impact on future generations as they attempt to understand and deal with the Holodomor.”
Ms. Applebaum, 45, is a journalist and Pulitzer Prize-winning author who has written extensively about communism and the development of civil society in Central and Eastern Europe. Born in Washington, she graduated from the prestigious Sidwell Friends School. She earned a B.A. (summa cum laude) from Yale University in 1986, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. As a Marshall Scholar at the London School of Economics, she earned a master’s degree. She studied at St Antony’s College, Oxford, before moving to Warsaw, Poland, in 1988.

Working for The Economist from 1988 to 1991, Ms. Applebaum provided coverage of important social and political transitions in Eastern Europe, both before and after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. She also covered the collapse of communism as the magazine’s Warsaw correspondent. In 1992 she was awarded the Charles Douglas-Home Memorial Trust Award.

Ms. Applebaum lived in London and Warsaw during the 1990s, and was for several years a widely read columnist for London’s Daily and Sunday  Telegraphs and the Evening Standard newspaper. She wrote about the workings of the British government, and opined on issues foreign and domestic.
Ms. Applebaum currently is a columnist for The Washington Post and Slate. She also writes for a number of other newspapers and magazines, including the New York Review of Books. She was a member of the Washington Post editorial board in 2002-2006 and worked as the foreign and deputy editor of the Spectator magazine in London.

Her first book, “Between East and West: Across the Borderlands of Europe,” was a travelogue, and was awarded an Adolph Bentinck Prize in 1996. It describes a journey that Ms. Applebaum took through Lithuania, Ukraine and Belarus, then on the verge of independence.
“Gulag: A History,” was published in 2003 and won the Pulitzer Prize for nonfiction in 2004. The Pulitzer committee said that Gulag was a “landmark work of historical scholarship and an indelible contribution to the complex, ongoing, necessary quest for truth.”

The book narrates the history of the Soviet concentration camp system and describes daily life in the camps, making extensive use of recently opened Russian archives, as well as memoirs and interviews. “Gulag: A History” has appeared in more than 40 languages, including Ukrainian. When “Gulag” was released in its Ukrainian edition, Ms. Applebaum traveled to Kyiv, where she was warmly received by the public, as well as by academics, the media and experts on the Soviet penal system.

Over the years, Ms. Applebaum’s writings have also appeared in The Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, the International Herald Tribune, Foreign Affairs, The New Criterion, The Weekly Standard, The New Republic, The National Review, The New Statesman, The Independent, The Guardian, Prospect, Commentaire, Die Welt, Cicero, Gazeta Wyborcza, Dziennik and The Times Literary Supplement, as well as in several anthologies. Her Washington Post/Slate column appears in newspapers across the United States and around the world.

Ms. Applebaum has also lectured at numerous colleges and universities, including Yale and Columbia, the University of Heidelberg, the University of Zurich, the Humboldt University in Berlin, and Lafayette, Davidson and Williams colleges. In the spring of 2008 she was a fellow at the American Academy in Berlin, Germany.
Ms. Applebaum is fluent in English, French, Polish and Russian. She is married to Radosław Sikorski, the Polish minister of foreign affairs. They have two children, Alexander and Tadeusz. 
HURI NEWS, Harvard University Ukrainian Research Institute (HURI),
Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, Spring 2009

CAMBRIDGE, MA - As part of its commemoration of the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Great Famine (Holodomor) in Ukraine in 1932–1933, the Institute hosted an international conference on 17–18 November 2008 entitled The Great Famine in Ukraine: The Holodomor and Its Consequences, 1933 to the Present.
The conference was opened by Institute Director Michael Flier, who described the pioneering HURI Famine Project of the 1980s and the Institute’s more recent efforts to commemorate the Holodomor.
A symposium in 2003 marked the seventieth anniversary of the tragedy, and in late 2007, a two-day symposium was held to discuss research conducted since the publication of Robert Conquest’s groundbreaking book, "Harvest of Sorrow," in 1986.
To coincide with the 2008 conference, the Institute also published "Hunger by Design: The Great Ukrainian Famine and Its Soviet Context," a book containing papers presented at the 2003 symposium, as well as new articles on the study of the Holodomor, on the current state of source material, and on the legacy of the Famine in Ukraine today (see information below for ordering information).
As Flier put it, the goal of this latest conference was to examine the Holodomor “viewed as a historical event intrinsically and comparatively…to contextualize the Holodomor and consider its consequences in the short term, midterm, and long term.”

Flier then introduced Andrea Graziosi (University of Naples “Federico II”), who described his conception of a new agenda  for study of the Holodomor. “Over the last twenty years, since Conquest published his book, we now have a coherent, very believable picture of what happened.”
Now, Graziosi argued, it becomes necessary to explore “what happened after the Holodomor - that is, the consequences, [which] have never been studied. We could contribute not only to [the study of] Ukrainian history, but to European history, because the more we know about European history—from the end of the nineteenth century and the great Armenian massacres of the 1890s, through the beginning of the 1950s and the death of Stalin—the more we see traumas of great magnitude.… And studying what happened after these traumas—historically, not as political debate—is of great importance in understanding the history of each country and people.”
The introductory program for the conference was completed with a few words by the Consul General of Ukraine, Mykola Kyrychenko, who described the efforts of Ukrainians to gain worldwide recognition for the Famine as a willful act of genocide on the part of the Soviet regime.
The first session of the conference, chaired by George G. Grabowicz (Harvard), provided a look at the most recent scholarship on the Holodomor. Liudmyla Hrynevych (Institute of the History of Ukraine) presented her research on the span of time leading up to and including the Famine of 1932 - 1933, emphasizing how an examination of the earlier famine of 1928–1929 brings a deeper understanding of the Holodomor itself.
Next, Hennadii Yefimenko (Institute of the History of Ukraine) explored the nationalities question, in his opinion inseparable from the economic and agricultural policies of the Kremlin at the time. Ultimately, he argued, the Kremlin blamed the Famine on nationalist factors in Ukraine in an effort to consolidate its imperial power.
Next, Brian Boeck (DePaul University) presented a case study of Soviet nationality policy in the region of Kuban in the Northern Caucasus, an area that had a significant Ukrainian population dating from the late eighteenth century.
In Kuban, archival material is just now being explored and scholarly publications are still lacking, but Boeck sifted through the available information to paint a grim picture of the Famine’s impact in that region and to demonstrate how Kuban’s mixed Ukrainian-Russian character drew the particular attention of the Soviet regime. The discussant for the session was Nicolas Werth (National Center for Scientific Research, Paris).
The second session, chaired by Terry Martin (Harvard), concerned the immediate aftermath of the Famine and the run-up to World War II. Yuri Shapoval (Kuras Institute of Political and Ethnic Studies) discussed the repressions carried out by the GPU (secret police) in Ukraine in the following years, 1933–1934.
The goal of Soviet officials was to crush whatever opposition there was to Soviet power in Ukraine, and this was carried out by the GPU; first, by arresting those accused of resisting the government seizure of grain and other foodstuffs; second, by carrying out the seizures; and third, by arresting those accused of dissatisfaction with the regime’s procurement policies and of broader acts of counterinsurgency. In this way, the grain procurement policy led directly to the widespread repression of nationalist sentiments in Ukraine.
Next, Stanislav Kulchytskyi (Institute of the History of Ukraine) described the aftereffects of the Famine in the villages of Ukraine, and Hiroaki Kuromiya (Indiana University) reported on what happened in Ukraine’s cities. Kuromiya took a broad approach, focusing on high-level diplomatic documents concerning Ukraine. In his opinion, Stalin’s signing of a nonaggression pact with Poland in 1932 opened the door for his actions against Ukraine, since he knew that Poland would not interfere.
Finally, Alexander Babyonyshev (pseudonym Sergei Maksudov; Harvard) looked at the impact of the Famine on the individual in Ukraine: collectivization destroyed the peasants’ ties to the land and their core principles of self-worth and pride of ownership - in effect, their spirits were broken. A summary and discussion of the session was provided by Oleg Khlevniuk (State Archive of the Russian Federation).
The third session was chaired by Mark Kramer (Harvard) and addressed the period of World War II. Roman Wysocki (Maria Curie-Skłodowska University, Lublin) discussed the situation in Poland and western Ukraine. Despite being “the best informed people in Europe about what was going on in Ukraine, ” the Poles deported refugees fleeing the Holodomor back to Soviet Ukraine and undermined the efforts of Ukrainians in Poland to provide relief to famine-stricken areas.
Karel Berkhoff (Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Amsterdam) gave an overview of how Germany initiated its own famine in Ukraine in 1942–1944, seizing grain to supply the Reich. Next, Oleksandra Veselova (Institute of the History of Ukraine) described how the postwar famine of 1946–1947 was also engineered by the Soviet regime. Roman Serbyn (University of Quebec at Montreal) served as discussant for the panel.

The first day ended with a special performance of selections from the opera Red Earth (Hunger) by Virko Baley, Jacyk Fellow in Spring 2007.
Session four, chaired by Associate Director Lubomyr Hajda, dealt with the population losses resulting from the Famine and the ongoing demographic impact of the tragedy. Hennadii Boriak (Institute of the History of Ukraine) discussed recent archival discoveries dealing with the demographic impact of the Famine.
Despite methodical attempts by the Soviet regime to eradicate all evidence of the massive scale of the starvation of the Ukrainian peasantry, which Boriak characterized as deliberate “archivocide,” relevant material has been found among the all-Union statistical records in Moscow, in the repository of the Ukrainian Ministry of Justice, and in the archives of the affected oblasts. Based on these documents, statistical projections can now be made of direct population losses totaling some three to four million.
Jacques Vallin (National Institute of Demographic Studies, Paris) looked at the impact of the Famine in the late 1930s and the period immediately preceding World War II, concluding that by the late 1930s Soviet Ukraine had suffered a global population loss of some 4.6 million.
His colleague, France Meslé, discussed population losses in the longer term. According to her research, the population of Ukraine today would be slightly over 80 million if it had had a history similar to any of the countries in western Europe in the twentieth century. By contrast, the 1991 Ukrainian census counted approximately 48 million.
And although the generation affected by the Holodomor is rapidly disappearing, Meslé pointed out that there are still clear signs of the population anomalies caused by the events of 1932–1933. The discussant for the session was Oleh Wolowyna (Informed Decisions, Inc.).
The fifth session was chaired by Roman Szporluk (Harvard) and addressed the impact of the Holodomor on present-day Ukrainian culture. Valerii Vasylyev (Institute of the History of Ukraine) described how Soviet elites in Ukraine from the 1950s to the 1970s viewed the Holodomor.
Using memoirs of party authorities, he described how they survived the Famine in their youth; then he showed how they later engaged with the trauma through documents that have been preserved in Ukraine’s archives. There is much evidence that the intelligentsia was fully aware of the manmade nature of the Holodomor and was disturbed by that fact, although it was ultimately the Ukrainian diaspora that pressed for the world to recognize what had happened.
Heorhii Kasianov (Institute of the History of Ukraine) then discussed the invention of tradition and memory, and how a canonical narrative about the Holodomor has formed in contemporary times both in Ukraine and in the diaspora.
The narrative has proceeded from denial to recognition of the event, then to recognition of the manmade nature of the event, its anti-Ukrainian motivation, and finally to acknowledgment of the Famine as genocide.
Next, Volodymyr Dibrova (Harvard) provided an overview of how Ukrainianness itself - language, culture, and identity - was a victim of the Holodomor. Grabowicz was discussant for the panel.
The final session was a roundtable panel, led by Serhii Plokhii (Harvard) and including Graziosi, Szporluk, Felix Wemheuer (University of Vienna), and Timothy Snyder (Yale University). Graziosi spoke on the role played by the Famine in the eradication of the peasants as a class in Ukraine, and Szporluk contrasted the impact of the Holodomor on Ukraine with the consequences of the 1917 Revolution on Russia.
Wemheuer then described how the famine that raged during China’s Great Leap Forward in 1958–1961 compares to the Holodomor, and Snyder explored the links between 1932–1933 and the later actions of the Third Reich against Ukraine and the Soviet Union.

The conference concluded with a keynote address by Werth, who declared that in the years since the opening of the Sovietera archives, “historiography has finally arrived, albeit late and tortuously, to a more satisfactory overall understanding of the processes which led to these murderous famines.”
Video of the conference, including all presentations and open discussions, is available at the Institute website:
Plans are also being made to publish the papers in a special volume of "Harvard Ukrainian Studies" edited by Graziosi and Hajda. 
Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute
34 Kirkland Street, Cambridge, MA 02138
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[email protected];
New book published by Harvard University Ukrainian Research Institute (HURI)
HURI NEWS, Harvard University Ukrainian Research Institute (HURI),
Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, Spring 2009
CAMBRIDGE, MA - "Hunger by Design: The Great Ukrainian Famine and Its Soviet Context" was released as part of the Institute’s larger effort to commemorate the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Holodomor of 1932–1933.
The volume contains some of the papers presented at the Institute’s 2003 symposium on the Famine, including Sergei Maksudov’s largescale demographic study drawing on available documents of the era; Niccolò Pianciola’s description of the denomadization famine in Kazakhstan from 1931 to 1933; and Gijs Kessler’s study of events in the Ural region from the same period.

Also included in the book are a foreword by Associate Director and symposium organizer Lubomyr Hajda; Andrea Graziosi’s remarks on the present state of Famine scholarship and how it addresses the question of genocide; Hennadii Boriak’s assessment of the current state of source material, and an essay by George Grabowicz on the legacy of the Famine in Ukraine today.
The volume offers new contributions to scholarship on the Famine as well as a tribute to those scholars who first broke ground in the field in the 1980s.
NOTE:  Order the new book, "Hunder by Design" The Great Ukrainian Famine and Its Soviet Context" (ISBN 978-1-932650-05-1 $24.95) from any bookseller or Harvard University Press: 800 405 1619; The Harvard Ukrainian Studies journal can be ordered directly from HURI:  e-mail, [email protected].
Harriman Institute at Columbia University, New York, in cooperation with CIUS
Papers from "The Holodomor of 1932-1933" Conference in Toronto, Nov, 2007

Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies (CIUS), Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Feb 4, 2009

TORONTO - The Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies has had a long-standing interest in furthering research on the Holodomor and organizing academic discussion of that great tragedy.

In fulfilling this goal, CIUS, together with the Petro Jacyk Program for the Study of Ukraine (University of Toronto) and the Ukrainian Canadian Research  and Documentation Centre, sponsored a 75th anniversary conference on the Ukrainian Famine-Genocide in Toronto in November 2007 under the title "The Holodomor of 1932–33." The conference organizers invited four prominent scholars from Ukraine to discuss the current state of Famine studies in the homeland.

The papers presented at that event have now appeared in a special "Holodomor" issue of The Harriman Review, published by the Harriman Institute at Columbia University in New York as part of the Famine commemoration by the Ukrainian Program at that university.

Review editor Dr. Ronald Meyer invited the senior manuscript editor of the CIUS Internet Encyclopedia of Ukraine project, Andrij Makuch, to serve as guest editor for this special issue.

Frank Sysyn, head of the CIUS Toronto Office and acting head of Columbia’s Ukrainian Program, wrote the preface to the volume, noting in particular the advance in Holodomor studies since the 50th anniversary of that event in the early 1980s.

The articles focus on questions of the Famine as a public issue in contemporary Ukraine, recent writing on Holodomor history, and the location of source materials for present and future research about the events of 1932–33.

In his article "Holodomor: The Politics of Memory and Political Infighting in Contemporary Ukraine," the renowned journalist and social critic Mykola Riabchuk writes about the cynical and manipulative manner in which the post-Soviet Ukrainian leadership treated the Famine issue.

The matter was given a certain amount of attention insofar as it afforded legitimacy on the national question to the country’s new masters, but it was never vigorously pursued before Viktor Yushchenko came to power.

Liudmyla Hrynevych, a senior scholar at the Institute of History, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine (NANU), examines "The Present State of Ukrainian Historiography on the Holodomor and Prospects for Its Development."

Her article provides a short overview of how the Famine was dealt with - or not dealt with - in historical writing prior to 1991. She then looks at developments in Holodomor historiography since that time, with a separate treatment of how the matter has played out in ideological popular writings.

The last two articles deal with archival matters. "Holodomor Archives and Sources: The State of the Art" by Hennadii Boriak, formerly director and then deputy director of the State Committee on Archives of Ukraine and now a department head at the NANU Institute of History who oversees its multivolume Entsyklopediia ukrains′koi istorii project (in both hard copy and electronic forms), looks at the current situation in Ukraine, where considerable effort has been expended to make archival material on the Famine more readily accessible.
He also makes some keen observations regarding illustrative materials about collectivization and the Holodomor, as well as the usefulness of death registers and district (raion) newspapers in studying the Famine.

"Archives in Russia on the Famine in Ukraine" by Iryna Matiash, director of the Ukrainian Research Institute of Archival Affairs and Document Studies, looks at holdings in repositories in Russia. She indicates that they contain a great deal of material dealing with the Famine, but the full extent of Russia’s Holodomor-related holdings has never been fully ascertained, let alone researched.

The November 2007 conference included commentaries by a number of prominent Western specialists - Lynne Viola (University of Toronto), Terry Martin (Harvard University), and Dominique Arel (Chair of Ukrainian Studies, University of Ottawa). Their remarks do not appear in this volume, but they can be viewed on a Webcast of the entire conference proceedings, which can be found at the University of Toronto’s Munk Centre site (see

Copies of this special issue of The Harriman Review (vol. 16, no. 2 [November 2008]) can be obtained for US $10.00 (S&H included) from The Harriman Institute, 420 West 118th Street, MC 3345, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA (attn.: Dr. Ron Meyer).

Alternately, this publication is readily available online at the Harriman Web site (see

Andrij Makuch, Toronto Office, Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies
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